Hamas: Every Israeli 'Is A Combatant'
While the EU continues to call for normalization of relations with the Hamas terrorist organization operating in and ruling over Gaza, a Hamas representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, justified Hamas' past (and future) suicide bombings of Israeli civilian buses. But, while his justification is self-conflicting, it should demonstrate to international observers the need to continue to isolate the Hamas terrorists, regardless of whether they govern over the Gaza Strip or not.
Hamdan made clear that all Jews "who live in Palestine, in the so-called Israel" are "aggressors and plunderers of the land," that they all emigrated without historical lineage as a result of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of Israel. He affirmed the Hamas view that the state of Israel is merely a Palestinian occupation and that every Israeli is "is a combatant, regardless of whether he wears a uniform."
"Anyone who comes to live in a war zone is a combatant, regardless of whether he wears a uniform. That's one thing. Secondly, neither Hamas nor the Palestinian resistance force intentionally killed civilians. You mentioned the buses. What's an easier target - a bus, which is protected by various security measures, or a school [or] a theater, or a stadium, for example? These civilian targets - in which the killing of women and children is intentional - were not targeted by the resistance."
"Why were buses targeted? Because they are the means of transport used by the soldiers as well. The Zionist soldiers, who go from their homes to their bases and back, use public transportation, because it is free or almost free. In my opinion, the occupation soldiers also have a security motive in using public transport: They shield themselves behind the so-called 'civilians' within the Zionist entity."
Curiously, while he calls all Israelis "combatants," in the same breath he says that "neither Hamas nor the Palestinian resistance force intentionally killed civilians." This, of course, is not even possible if all Israelis are outsiders who have "come to live in a war zone" and thus are all "combatants."
As to Hamas' ultimate goal? The annihilation of Israel.
"We are making the preparations for a confrontation. This is not because we need to be prepared for an Israeli act of aggression - after all, aggression is intrinsic to this entity - but because the final goal of the resistance is to wipe this entity off the face of the Earth. This goal necessitates the development of the capabilities of the resistance, until this entity is wiped out."
This is not mere rhetoric to be dismissed. It remains the core of Hamas' own Charter.
Yet the calls to engage Hamas internationally as a governing body persist. As do the calls to force Abbas to negotiate with the group that initiated the bloody civil war that saw Fatah driven from Gaza.
To be sure, Fatah - with its roots in Arafat's PLO - is no angel organization. However, if there is a chance at moderation within the Palestinian Territories, can there be any question that that any hope today goes squarely through Fatah? Yet, the calls persist to somehow force Fatah to negotiate a re-merger with Hamas to re-form a 'unity' government with those who violently rejected it.
Lesson Yet Unlearned: One cannot demand negotiations and settlement from one party while the other insists on continued fighting.
One day, the bright minds of the West will encounter a radical epiphany: We are neither the problem nor solution in the Arab-Israeli conflict. And we cannot manufacture peace when actors adhere to the annihilation of another.
Nor are we helping the Gazan general public by engaging and legitimizing Hamas' rule. Such only prolongs their suffering, even if truckloads of flour arrive each day in physical relief.